VIDEO: The Board of El Paso County Commissioners recognized the ongoing need for all residents to be prepared in case of wildfire, flood, blizzard or other emergency. At its regular meeting on Thursday, the Board proclaimed September 2018 as National Emergency Preparedness Month.
Commissioner Peggy Littleton read the Proclamation into the record on Thursday, stating, “Citizens in El Paso County have seen firsthand the value of being prepared for a disaster and having an emergency survival kit, the need for family evacuation and reunification plans, and the value of lifesaving information as we continue to rebuild and recover from catastrophic fires, hailstorms and floods.”
The County’s Office of Emergency Management makes preparedness a year-round effort, offering such programs as Citizen Emergency Response Training (CERT), Ready and Resilient Neighborhoods, Wildfire Preparedness Workshops and fostering partnerships with government, community, nonprofit and other organizations to make sure the region is at-the-ready in case of disaster. More than 600 participants took part in training and workshops over the last 12 months in El Paso County
“Our team is constantly working to make sure that our citizens are prepared and that you’re prepared for any emergency event that might happen,” said Jim Reid, the County’s Executive Director of Public Works. “This year, we’ve had several events that have proven that the work they do is correct, accurate and works. My hat’s off to them. We can’t do it without them. Most citizens probably don’t know who they are and where they work. But they do know who to call when they have an issue.”
During National Preparedness Month, El Paso County will hold a CERT storm exercise to hone CERT volunteer skills. The County has also joined forces with the City of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs a pair of emergency exercises to practice an evacuation near Manitou Springs and enhance emergency management skills in case of a flash flood caused by a dam breach.
The Office of Emergency Management encourages all residents to have a “go kit” in case of emergency, know what your local risks are, have a plan to address those risks, devise an evacuation plan, and register cell phones with the El Paso-Teller 911 Authority (https://elpasoteller911.org/).
To learn more about El Paso County OEM’s preparedness programs and exercises, visit the Office of Emergency Management web page at www.epcoem.com or call 719-575-8858. And to learn more about National Preparedness Month, go to https://www.ready.gov/september.